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Mastering the Tarot
 
Eden Gray’s books have been on the shelves for a long time. I learned to read with
Mastering the Tarot and still have my original copy, which somehow escaped the great
Tarot purge which took place in my home in the early 80’s. The pages are yellow and dry
and it has to be handled very carefully as the pages have a tendency to fall out. I have
since bought a new copy, which I use in order to spare my original further damage. I
would venture to say that a great many readers who have been reading for a long time
learned how to read from Eden Gray’s books. But enough reminiscing - on with the
review.
Mastering the Tarot is a beginner’s Tarot book. It is divided into lessons, vice chapters,
and each lesson contains a manageable amount of material, though some may want to
divide the lessons into even smaller segments. The book is written for the Waite-Smith
deck, which was one of the few decks commonly available when it was written. The basics
are all covered in this book; how to shuffle, card care and feeding, how to chose a
significator, even a section on Tarot ethics. Gray’s interpretations are traditional. More
information is provided for the Major Arcana than for the Minors. Each card has a brief
explanation of the symbolism, followed by upright and reversed interpretations. There are
several spreads provided, from the Celtic Cross and Astrological to a quick yes/no
method. While there is not a lot of explanation of how to read the cards in reference to
each other and as a whole, there are sample readings done with most of the spreads to
give you a feel for how it’s done. There is a short glossary, which is really more of a mini
dictionary of symbols and an index. Those of you on a budget will appreciate the fact that
Gray’s books are still inexpensive. In a subject where the average book will set you back
$12.95, Gray’s books are a bargain at $4.99.
Mastering the Tarot
Author: Eden Gray
ISBN: 0-451-16781-3 (orginal version: 0-451-13719-1)

Excerpt
So often students want to ask serious, life-shaking questions to begin with, and then are
upset when the cards give a confused response. The first time a student picks up a violin,
he knows he is not ready to give a concert; likewise, the Tarot student must practice many
weeks, even months before he can permit his life or someone else’s to be influenced by the
cards. don’t be in a hurry to be a modern Mlle Le Normand. It takes a little time to get
acquainted with the cards and have them work and demonstrate all their marvelous
possibilities. If the reader is uncertain about the card’s meaning, the subconscious will not
know which cards to put where, and the reading becomes ineffectual.
(Mastering the Tarot, pg. 147-148)

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Copyright 1996/97 Michele Jackson